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Aeolian Islands - Le Isole Eolie

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Video Details

Duration: 1 minute and 57 seconds
Country: Italy
Language: English
License: Public Domain
Genre: Trailer
Producer: Alessandro Sorbello Productions
Director: New Realm Media
Views: 421
Posted by: alessandro sorbello productions on Nov 18, 2007

The Sensational Sicily Series of Films presented by Alessandro Sorbello showcase one of the most beautiful regions on earth, rich in history, Sicily formed part of the cradle of civilization. Please enjoy Taormina, Jewel of Sicily. A project born from a collaboration between the Region of Sicily, The Italian Chamber of Commerce, New Realm Media and Alessandro Sorbello Productions.

The Aeolian Islands (Italian Isole Eolie) are a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily. They are a popular tourist destination in the summer, and attract up to 200,000 visitors annually. offers plenty of options for your accommodation on the Aeolian Islands.

The largest island is Lipari, and tourism marketing often names the entire archipelago the Lipari Islands because of the ease of pronouncing Lipari compared to Aeolian. The other islands include Vulcano, Salina, Stromboli, Filicudi, Alicudi, and Panarea. The town of Lipari has about 11,000 inhabitants. Vulcano is famous for its fango baths.

History - The Cnidian settlers under Pentathlos arrived at Lipara in 580 BC and settled on the site of the modern village known as Castello or la Cittade. They named the islands after the Greek keeper of the winds, Aeolus, whose benevolence was essential. Outside Lipara, on the road to the necropolis, a sanctuary to Demeter and Persephone has been discovered. In 394 BC the Roman embassy consisting of Lucius Valerius, Lucius Sergius, and Aulus Manlius took a golden bowl that was made as a gift to Apollo, to Delphi. The diplomats were captured by Liparian pirates, but instead of being harmed the diplomats and their offering were protected by the magistrate Timasitheus and escorted safely to delphi, this made for peacefull relations between the two states [1]. The islands were the site of the Battle of the Lipari Islands in 260 BC between Rome and Carthage. Biblical historian Josephus mentioned a group that is probably related to the Aeolian Islands : "Elisa gave name to the Eliseans, who were his subjects; they are now the Aeolians." Elisa refers to the biblical figure Elishah, grandson of Japheth, son of Javan.

In 1544, when Spain declared war on France, the French king Francois I, asked the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman for help. The latter sent a fleet headed by Khair ad Din (also known as Barbarossa) who was victorious over the Spaniards, and managed to retake Naples from them. In the course of the battle the Aeolian Islands were depopulated. Later immigrants from mainland Italy, Sicily and Spain re-established communities on the archipelago.

The Aeolian Islands have been listed by the UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.

Lipari is the main island, and generally offers the widest selection of lodgings, restaurants, shops, and things to do. The people are warm and friendly, and their town's romantic citadel offers an uninterrupted record of its inhabitants from Neolithic times, featuring an extensive acropolis. Even people who hate museums and history will be fascinated spending a couple of hours here, because you start with ruins of the original settlement and proceed through rooms that have something even the Uffizi and Vatican can't boast: interesting explanations in English!
If you're feeling energetic, hike to the top of Mount Sant'Angelo: the breathtaking view will greatly repay your efforts. Because the Aeolians are volcanoes, all extinct save one, each island has beaches of a unique character. Lipari is the oldest island, and thus its lidos are covered with the finest white sand, actually the end product of black lava.
In earlier days, when this was the talcum capital of the world, there were several mines on Lipari and the owners used to dispose of the finest powder, unusable even to keep baby's posteriors dry, by dumping truckloads of it down the hillsides every evening. So much of it deposited on the sea floor that Lipari's waters are still the palest blue, even though the last of the trucks disappeared decades ago.
To have the most fun, hire your own boat and spend the day swimming and sunbathing from its deck. Your boatman, most likely named Bartolo (after the local saint), will be happy to cook you a lunch of pasta and fresh fish on board.

Take day trips to the other islands. Vulcano, a "younger" extinct volcano inhabited by 400 islanders, is studded with fantastic formations, both above ground and under water. Stromboli, the tragic island made famous in Roberto Rossellini's film of the same name (starring Ingrid Bergman), features two miniscule towns on opposite sides of a mildly active volcano. This island is the "baby," and so it has the blackest beaches.

Salina is the garden island. Its slopes are blanketed with deep green vineyards that produce a heady malvasìa; its waters are populated with fish and octopus.
Take home some of the local capers packed in salt: until you've tried them this way, you'll never really know what a true caper tastes like (if you don't like capers, you may discover it's really the vinegar they're usually packed in you don't like, not the capers).

Tiny Panarea is the jet-set island, and perhaps the most picturesque, with its stark white houses and brilliant yellow ginestra bushes; it boasts three small but famous hotels and the summer homes of many wealthy Italians (including fashion designers). The uninhabited satellite Basiluzzo might remind you of Delos, although its ruins are Roman. Filicudi (and smaller Alicudi) are both blessed with magnificent shores and underwater vistas; a popular outing is to Filicudi's Grotto of the Sea Lion.
But if you're looking for wide sandy beaches, stay off these islands: they are strictly for snorkelers and divers, who will do their sunbathing on near-vertical slabs of lava.

Getting to Aeolian Islands

There are frequent car ferries and much quicker hydrofoils from Milazzo and Messina on Sicily , and from Reggio di Calabria on the mainland, to and between the islands. Most call first at Lipari, and then proceed to the other islands. Ferries are frequent in summer, with fewer during spring, autumn and winter and a reduced service year-round on Sundays. For timetables see SIREMAR, Ustica Lines and NGI. It is important to check the timetables in advance, and to allow plenty of time for connections, as boats can be early or late.

A few car ferries a week also continue on to Naples (see SNAV) and during the summer hydrofoils run to and from Naples, Cefalù, Palermo and Messina.

The Aeolian Islands are quite remote, which is part of their appeal. No air travel is available to the archipelago, except for the very expensive helicopter service which runs during high season from the Catania airport. For more information see Air Panarea. Most international travellers, then, will arrive at the airport of either Palermo or Catania airport in Sicily, or Reggio di Calabria, across the straits of Messina on the mainland.

Although the Reggio airport is relatively near the port, boats from Reggio are infrequent. Likewise, only a few ferries per day run from Palermo during high season, and the airport is far from the city. These ports are best used by the traveller who is already in Italy, as is Naples, a much longer boat trip that is convenient for travelers arriving by plane or train in Naples from points north. For the traveller arriving directly from abroad, numerous budget airlines have routes from around Europe to Catania . From there, one can take the train, or an express bus, to Messina, connecting to a boat; or, at Messina, one can connect to a second train or bus to Milazzo, which has by far the most boat departures. Although it is convenient to change trains in Messina, the Milazzo train station is a few miles from the port. On the other hand, the bus from Catania arrives at the train station, while the bus for Milazzo departs from a separate bus station a few blocks away. As for help at the information booth outside the train station. One express bus per day departs from Catania airport for Milazzo, but arrives there so late as to miss the boat for certain of the islands. One may wish to spend the first night in Lipari, with its charming town, and then depart for the outlying islands. As another alternative, the car rental agencies have special deals allowing the traveller the use of a car one-way from Catania to Milazzo - inquire in advance as these deals may not be available without reservations. The car rental agencies in Milazzo are a few blocks from the port.

Get around Aeolian Islands

The larger islands, Lipari, Vulcano and Salina have quite good bus services. Timetables are available at the tourist offices in each island's port. Those islands also have scooters for rent, and are the only of the islands with comprehensive systems of roads. Panarea and Stromboli are small enough to have no roads or automobiles to speak of; Panarea in particular is completely accessible by foot. Alicudi and Filicudi are so remote that they have little in the way of developed tourist industries or infrastructure. On those islands, transport from the port, and scooter rental, should be arranged with one's inkeeper. Boat rental is also popular for touring the periphery of each island; although the small boats for rent are not adequate for travel between the islands, but are popular for the excursion from Panarea to the islets of Basiluzzo and Drauto.

Le Isole Eolie dette anche Isole Lipari, sono un arcipelago di origine vulcanica, situato nel Mar Tirreno, in provincia di Messina, a Nord della costa sicula. Comprendono ben due vulcani attivi, Stromboli e Vulcano, oltre a vari fenomeni di vulcanismo secondario. L'arcipelago è composto dalle seguenti isole: Alicudi, Filicudi, Lipari (centro amministrativo), Panarea con gli isolotti basaltici di Basiluzzo, Dattilo e Lisca Bianca, Salina, Stromboli (con il vicino scoglio di Strombolicchio), Vulcano.
Destinazione turistica sempre più popolare, le isole attraggono fino a 200.000 visitatori annuali, Le Eolie sono state nominate Patrimonio dell'Umanità dall'UNESCO per i fenomeni vulcanici.

Storia - La presenza umana nell'arcipelago risulta sin dalla notte dei tempi. Le genti preistoriche vennero infatti sicuramente attratte dalla presenza di grandi quantità di ossidiana. Tra il XVI e il XIV secolo avanti Cristo divennero importanti perché poste sulla rotta commerciale dei metalli, in particolare lo stagno che giungeva via mare dai lontani empori della Britannia e transitava per lo stretto di Messina verso oriente. Mentre in Sicilia si afferma la Cultura di Castelluccio, a Capo Graziano, nell'isola di Filicudi ma anche a Lipari si diffonde la cosiddetta Cultura Eoliana caratterizzata dal commercio piu che dall'agricoltura, con le sue capanne circolari con pareti di pietre a secco, quasi a strapiombo sul mare e una propria ceramica.
Le isole furono colonizzate dai Greci, intorno al 580 a.C., che chiamarono le Isole Eolie poiché ritenevano che fossero la dimora del dio dei venti, Eolo, un mito questo destinato ad affermarne la "grecità" .
Nel 260 furono teatro della battaglia di Lipari tra Roma e Cartagine. In epoca romana divennero centri di commercio dello zolfo, dell'allume e del sale.
Il personaggio biblico Giuseppe menziona un gruppo di isole che forse sono le Eolie: "Elisa diede il nome agli Eliseani ed essi sono ora gli Aeoliani". Elisa si riferisce alla figura biblica Elishah, nipote di Iafet.
Nel 1544, quando la Spagna dichiarò guerra alla Francia, il re francese Francesco I chiese aiuto al sultano ottomano Solimano il Magnifico. Questo mandò una flotta comandata da Khair ad Din che attaccò Napoli e la conquistò. Successivamente fece rotta sulle Isole Eolie , uccidendo e deportando i suoi abitanti.
Nel corso dei secoli l'arcipelago venne ripopolato di nuovo da comunità spagnole, siciliane e del resto d'Italia. In epoca borbonica l'isola di Vulcano veniva usata come colonia penale per l'estrazione coatta di allume e zolfo.

Le Isole Eolie hanno sempre esercitato un immenso fascino sui viaggiatori che le hanno raggiunte. Tra le espressioni classiche di quel fascino si può citare l'imponente opera sull'Arcipelago di un principe d'Asburgo. Tra i viaggiatori più recenti si può ricordare il colorito racconto di una notte di pesca tra Lipari e Vulcano di Antonio Saltini.

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